Monday, October 31, 2005

News from Afghanistan - Part 9

The latest from my wife’s niece, stationed in Ghazni, Afghanistan as part of a US Army MEDCAP unit;
I just got several boxes and one had the 4th episode of Nip/Tuck! We have a “waiting” list for the 3rd season. It’s pretty funny because I am the sole provider for the borrowing of the recent episodes. I know I always tell you thanks, but it really makes our day. We look forward to each episode as they arrive! Please thank Auntie Lynn for all the hygiene kits she took the time to assemble.

We are going on a VETCAP to Jaghuri and we are stopping at the orphanage to drop off coats, blankets and food for the winter. Of all the places we go, Jaghuri and Malistan are by far the nicest and most appreciative places where our work is done. It’s so far away (nearly a 12 hour drive) that we can’t get there very often, but the people are so friendly and they just love the soldiers. They know when we come around we are doing good things to help them; we’re not seen or treated as just a source to scam some radios or beans off of.

I am going to try and get some pictures of Sarah and Daniels toys tomorrow with some of the kids at our clinic. I’ve been out for the past few days and with Ramadan our Afghani doctor took some time off so we were not running the clinic. When you lived in Saudi were the locals as strict about adhering to law as they are here? We had a Afghan National Army soldier come in for treatment. He was very sick and we had to start an IV on him to give him fluids, and although he did not protest when we started, he was very upset with us when he left because of giving him fluids during Ramadan. I never even considered the implications that certain types of medical attention would be considered offensive during Ramadan.
To answer Reiko’s question about the Afghan soldier becoming upset because he was given an IV, a little background is necessary. In the Islamic world, one of the most significant religious holidays is Ramadan. Among other things, Islam specifies that a Moslem can take no food or sustenance during the daylight hours. This soldier was upset evidently because he felt that the American medical personal broke his fast in a manner not allowed by his religion. I think he was way off base. My wife Lynn worked as a Respiratory Therapist at King Faisal hospital in Riyadh. When I asked her about this, she told me that there was no difference in the type or timing of treatments to patients during Ramadan. In addition, and according to Wikipedia, in both the Quran and the Hadith (Muslim religious texts), there are clear exceptions quoted as to who has to fast during the daylight hours and this soldier would have qualified. I think this soldier was just wrong in his religious interpretation.

Previous postings;

News from Afghanistan - Part 8
News from Afghanistan - Part 7
News from Afghanistan - Part 6
News from Afghanistan - Part 5
News from Afghanistan - Part 4
News from Afghanistan - Part 3
News from Afghanistan - Part 2
News from Afghanistan - Part 1

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